Saturday, October 22, 2016

November Totems: Rowan

In our tradition we divide the year not only by eight solar and agricultural holidays, but also by the Kalends. We celebrate twelve months of the year by the common calendar, plus a special thirteenth month for Samhain.  These month cycles are associated with different totemic spirits. Each month is assigned an animal, a bird (or other flying creature), and a tree. November's totems are Rowan, Raven, and Fox.

The totemic associations are as follows:

Fox – (Sionnach) trickster, invisibility, shape-shifting, diplomacy, wildness
Rowan – (Luis) protection against enchantment, psychic power, self-control
Raven – (Bran) underworld messenger, shape-shifting, trickster, initiation, protection

The Rowan is sometimes referred to as the “Tree of Life” or the “Lady of the Mountain,” this tree is thought to protect against enchantment. The wood of this tree was often used for rune staves (sticks which are engraved with the Ogham or runs and used as a divinatory tool) and as a divining rod for metal.

Also used as a generally protective talisman, the branches of the Rowan Tree are hung over the doors of houses and barns to protect the inhabitants. It is planted in cemeteries in Wales to guard over the spirits of the dead. Babies’ cradles are often made of Rowan wood, as it is thought to keep death and harm away from the young. Some references claim that Rowan wood protects one from the Faery.

The Rowan berry has a pentagram in its center and is red in color. A necklace strung of the berries is said to protect the wearer from harm.

Rowan indicates an ability to contain control of your senses, provides protection from harm and a protection when engaged in battle. The element associated with the Rowan is Fire, and its gender association is male.

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